On Ghostwriting in B2B: What it’s Really Like to Work with a Ghostwriter

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    The idea of working with a ghostwriter can seem haunting… ahem, we mean daunting. You might have preconceived notions or previous experiences that cause you to hesitate.

    It’s going to take so many revisions.

    They’ll never get the tone right.

    It’ll be faster if I just do it myself.

    We’re here to debunk misconceptions about ghostwriting and shed light on:

    • What ghostwriting is – and is not.
    • What it’s like to work with a ghostwriter.
    • The benefits of hiring a ghostwriter.
    • How to nail it with your ghostwriting engagement.

    To do this, we spoke with some of our clients to learn about their actual experiences working with us on ghostwriting projects. We also had internal conversations about the ghostwriting process from the writer’s perspective.


    Because we’ve seen what’s possible when thought leaders, business owners, product specialists and many others find their match with a writing team and get their message out in front of their audiences. And we want you to reap these benefits as well. If you don’t fight your ghostwriting demons, the world may miss out on what you have to offer – and don’t have time for!

    What is B2B Ghostwriting Exactly?

    B2B ghostwriting is a process by which thought leaders and subject matter experts (SMEs) have their knowledge and expertise translated into written content of various formats and published under their name, whether it’s a short Twitter post or a long-form op-ed in an industry publication. Often, this process involves interviews, resource sharing and collaborative editing. It is a valuable way for B2B experts and companies to outsource their content needs and produce assets they might not be able to produce on their own.

    Ghostwriting is the process of having your internal knowledge translated into written content and published under your name.

    Businesses commonly hire ghostwriters due to a lack of time and resources internally, but also to benefit from the specific expertise of the writers they hire. They might outsource the work to an individual freelancer or an agency, such as our industry-specific content firm.

    Ghostwriters can deliver a wide range of content types, including:

    • Articles/Blogs
    • Case Studies
    • Whitepapers
    • Speeches
    • Guest Posts
    • Newsletters
    • And more

    Two Important Truths about the Ghostwriting Experience

    The partnership between thought leaders and ghostwriters can result in great content opportunities that grow your business. However, a couple of misconceptions could get in the way. These are the facts:

    1. Time Is on Your Side

    It’s a common misconception that working with ghostwriters will take more time and energy than just writing on your own.


    Working with a ghostwriter actually saves time.

    “At first, I was hesitant. I thought I would have to spend more time writing and getting it to the point where a ghostwriter could take over. Then I tried it and, lo and behold, it was glorious. For me, it’s hard to write and I procrastinate. With 3 Aspens, I just get on the phone and have a conversation. It saves me an enormous amount of time, and it’s written in a more consumable way.”

    Dean Mueller, Independent Contractor with Distribution Strategy Group 

    Writing takes time. For thought leaders and subject matter experts (SMEs), time is a valuable commodity. It often makes better business sense for them to invest their time in tasks requiring their expertise.

    Many steps go into the writing process, including planning, writing and editing. And if you or your in-house team can’t make the time to write, your message won’t get out there. When you work with a ghostwriter, getting them familiar with your voice and expectations will take time in the beginning stages. But once you’ve established that, they can take the reins, planning and developing the content your business needs to thrive in a competitive market.

    Ghostwriting frees up more of your and your team’s time so you can focus on problem-solving and innovation.

    For many busy professionals, the time it takes to talk with a ghostwriter and then edit their work is less than trying to write the content themselves.

    “We do omnichannel marketing. We are building content for our website, written collateral, work with my vendors and the sales team, creating campaigns and internal and external marketing through our CSM. The time it takes 3 Aspens to gather information, research and write on the topics they do, it’s like adding another person to our team.”

    Maureen Weincouff, Channel Development Manager, Packaging Division at LINC Systems, Inc.  

    2. You Won’t Sacrifice Authenticity

    Another common concern about ghostwriting is that it won’t look like it’s “yours,” or it won’t have the level of knowledge expected from someone with your expertise.

    “I think people worry that with a ghostwriter, the content won’t be ‘authentic’ because it’s not coming directly from them. As a professional content firm, we know it’ll be authentic because the ideas come from the SME. We’re organizing their thoughts, polishing up their ideas and maybe making connections they haven’t made themselves because we are viewing their ideas with a different lens – but that doesn’t take away from authenticity.”

    Allison Murray, Client Success Manager at 3 Aspens Media  

    Ghostwriters are tasked with meeting our client’s standards for quality and timing. As great ghostwriters, we go beyond meeting standards, striving to embody our client’s words, learn their tone and adapt the voice of the content to align.

    When working with a ghostwriter, you shouldn’t feel nervous that someone else is speaking on your behalf. Instead, consider it an opportunity to showcase your expertise in various ways that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. And expect complete authenticity.

    The writer will use your internal expertise to bring value to your business, capturing your words, highlighting your knowledge and generating your thoughts into consumable content your clients will recognize as professional and engaging.

    “At first, we were reserved. We thought they wouldn’t know our industry, verbiage, customers, products. Interestingly, you set them up with a few topics and they hit the ground running. Then, you help refine their verbiage of your industry when you’re doing the draft process, which doesn’t take much time at all.”

    – Maureen Weincouff  

    How Does Ghostwriting Work?

    Having professional writers adapt your knowledge and philosophy into new assets for various content channels adds value to your brand and business. But what does it actually look like to get that information out of your head and in front of your audience?

    People worry the process will be too tedious with constant edits or the content will be too simple. If true, such issues would reduce the value and return on investment from the initiative. But often, this isn’t the case.

    To really make the most of your ghostwriting engagement, you’ll need to be involved in the process, but you won’t have to do all the legwork. It’s a collaborative effort between you, your team and your writer(s). And the process will only get more seamless and harmonious over time.

    “The longer and more frequently you work with a ghostwriter, the greater the benefits, efficiency and improvement in productivity will be.”

    – Dean Mueller  


    As with any successful business initiative, the first step is to plan. The writer(s) outlines the direction, theme, audience and goals for each piece of content.

    At 3 Aspens Media, we prioritize thoughtful planning and work to understand the goals of each piece of content – and how those goals align with those of the business itself. We achieve this through regular meetings that keep us on the same page throughout the process.


    Great ghostwritten content relies heavily on in-depth interviews with SMEs, whether they’re thought leaders, consultants, customer-facing team members or any knowledgeable professionals who can represent a brand and its offering.

    But that doesn’t mean the interviewee will have to explain every little detail. Great ghostwriters will come to the interview with a summary knowledge of the topic and collaborate with the interviewee to clarify and elaborate on it.

    Our clients often find that being interviewed for their content initiatives is more relaxed and enjoyable than they expected, and it gets them thinking.

    “Ghostwriting is very much a collaboration. We’re more successful when we work together to produce a piece. 3 Aspens makes that more streamlined by conducting an interview (and recording it) to get the SME’s thoughts and even some of their specific phrases that we can use when we write.”

    Teri Vannoy, COO at 3 Aspens Media 

    The interview process helps ghostwriters identify the tone, approach and priorities of the interviewee. By asking the right questions, we can better understand what the client wants to communicate and work out any gaps or potential hiccups.

    “It’s an opportunity to be open and realize somebody else is capturing your thoughts; they’re not saying it for you. They’re capturing what you’re saying and putting it on paper. There are a lot of people like me, especially in the sales world, who are verbal by nature. 3 Aspens gets clarity, asking: What did you mean by that? Can you take me back? It forces me to think about what I’m saying and allows the right message to come through.”

    Brett Reeder, Sales Director at Xebec Deburring Technologies   

    At 3 Aspens, our interview process typically follows these steps:

    • Schedule an interview through email
    • Create a list of questions and send to the interviewee beforehand
    • Ask to record the interview for transcript purposes
    • Follow the list of questions but leave time for conversation and thought development
    • Clarify the “meat and bones” of the content

    These steps can change from interview to interview, but the purpose is to capture the client’s tone, voice and purpose.

    Writing & Editing

    How each writer writes is often a mystery to anyone who isn’t that writer. Some sneak away to small, dark rooms. Others need sunshine and conversation. But regardless of each writer’s process, writing requires professional skill and dedication.

    At 3 Aspens Media, each ghostwritten piece also goes through a round of close edits before it’s passed off to the client. Our team of professionals works together to edit, as well as brainstorm headlines, subheads and the strategic approach to the content.

    Then, once your ghostwriter has developed a viable draft, they will work closely with you to refine the word choices, phrasing, messaging, call-to-action and more. This is perhaps the most crucial step in the entire ghostwriting process. Miscommunications get sorted, word choice is adjusted and goals are aligned.

    “We’re trying to get across a complex concept in a short amount of time. Having someone who knows how to write well is extremely helpful. We don’t have the benefit of being able to write like Nathaniel Hawthorne or J.R.R. Tolkien. We have to be concise and clear. And having someone help you with that is invaluable. The quality of the writing is very high and, quite frankly, I’m glad I don’t have to do it with everything else I have on my plate.”

    Michael Simms, Vice President of Digital Advisory and Analytics at Columbus Global  

    Often, ghostwriters can get the content roughly 80% of the way there. The remaining 20% is hashed out in the editing process. If the writer is way off the mark, they may need additional support to better understand your messaging, such as additional resources from within your company, discussions around tone and voice, examples of content you want to emulate, etc. The time you put into getting on the same page will pay off in the future.

    And keep in mind that, even after years of working together, you still may run into situations where the content doesn’t click right away. This doesn’t signal failure. It’s an opportunity for improvement, and collaboration and understanding are key.

    Great ghostwriters don’t just regurgitate what you say – they help you really get your message across and stand out.


    One commonly overlooked aspect of ghostwriting is that you get a fresh pair of eyes or ears on a topic. Often, during the interview or editing process, our clients say, “We haven’t thought of that,” or “That’s a great take on this.”

    “[3 Aspens] asks the right questions, but they also do their background homework. They’re not getting everything from us. They’re taking what we’re giving them and putting a lot more into the mix and making it even more impressive.”

    Dave Sawicki, Sales Director and Sr. Applications Specialist at Xebec Deburring Technologies  

    Bringing in a ghostwriter means your ideas are heard and developed by professionals in a way that could bring new clarity or direction.

    “I’ve enjoyed it. I get asked questions that trigger thoughts I hadn’t been considering. There are things we take for granted or don’t normally think about. It helps me keep things relevant, keep my mind fresh and constantly think about where we’ve been, where we are and how we’re going to get to the next place.”

    – Brett Reeder  


    When working with an experienced team, such as ours at 3 Aspens Media, thought leaders can have their expertise recognized on their owned platforms and beyond. Many content firms will work with you to identify the best outlet for your assets, whether on your social media, blog or an external publication. And many industry-specific firms will have networks that include industry publications and other outlets for content.

    “The professional writers give us clout. And when we get leads from people that read these articles, it’s very targeted and specific and pertinent to the article. We don’t usually get a person who says, ‘I saw that article about hip ball finishing, but I’m not doing hip balls, I’m doing this other thing.’ It’s usually very specific, targeted leads and inquiries.”

    – Dave Sawicki 

    Tips from the Ghostwritten

    Before you embark on the search for a ghostwriter, take this advice from our clients:

    Clients we’ve ghostwritten for say it’s important to make content a regular priority and hire writers who understand your industry.

    Plan to make content a regular priority.

    For thought leaders who aren’t putting out much content yet, Mark Dancer, CEO of Network for Business Innovation, suggests it’s essential to success. “Make writing part of your thought leadership process,” he said. “Give priority to it. By writing every week, month or even day, your thought leadership will be better. And by putting it out there, you’re more accountable and you can see your transition over time. If a ghostwriter can help you do more, you should consider it because, it’s like Flannery O’Connor says: ‘I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.’”

    Look for writers with knowledge of your industry.

    Dean Mueller suggests hiring someone who gets your industry. “Make sure whoever you have ghostwriting understands the audience you are appealing to and understands the industry,” he said. “If you can check off both of those things, run, don’t walk. Or maybe I should say sprint, don’t run. That’s what I appreciate about 3 Aspens’ ghostwriting is that they know their stuff. They know the audience, they know the industry and they present it in such a way that will be easily consumed and understood.”

    Feeling Less Spooked by Ghostwriters?

    Working with ghostwriters isn’t a shortcut. Some of the top minds across different businesses use ghostwriters to capture their thoughts and develop them into full-fledged, engaging content that showcases their expertise – to their audience and anyone else they’re looking to impress.

    “The single best thing that’s come of it is that I sent it to my mom and she thinks I wrote it.”

    – Dave Sawicki 

    As leaders and experts in your industry, you may not have the time to plan, write and edit content. Partnering with professional ghostwriters with experience in your field is the best way to authentically represent your expertise.

    Working with ghostwriters can be nerve-racking at first – but a great working relationship can be freeing and help you reach your content goals. We work with clients all across the board, from champions of the process to hesitant first-timers. Reach out to us today to learn more about our expertise and see if working with a ghostwriter is right for you.

    “Do it. It’s fantastic. It helps you get your thoughts and ideas out there in a much more cohesive way. It scales your efforts because you’re able to get information out at a rate you might not have been able to do yourself. After using 3 Aspens to do this content, I would probably never go back to writing my own content if I didn’t have to.”

    – Michael Simms  

    On Ghostwriting in B2B: What it’s Really Like to Work with a Ghostwriter